If you told me at age ten that I would have a bad case of ‘sardine obsession’ in my twenties, I would have laughed in your face AND rolled my eyes. ‘Sardines are gross!’ I would have told you. But here I am, finding sneaky ways to bring sardines up in conversation, looking up sardine recipes at work and enjoying them for more lunches and dinners than I’d care to say. For anyone who aligns with my ten year old self, let me tell you, they really aren’t gross at all. In fact, they are quite delicious, versatile, healthy and cheap (and sustainable and low in mercury content)! Canned sardines are not overly salty or fishy, like anchovies, and actually taste more like a mild canned tuna. Grilled fresh sardines are also delicious but this post focuses on these, which I found in the grocery store:
I love smoked fish. When I was a kid, my Dad, on occasion, would bring home smoked tuna from the local seafood store. While I wouldn’t have touched sardines with ten foot pole at that time, I was totally into this smoked tuna. Now that I know I like sardines, I knew I would love these too.
I think my original obsession began with the No Reservations ‘Brittany’ episode where Tony eats sardines that are jarred standing up in oil. I never thought preserved fish could be gourmet or elegantly prepared or special in any way- until I watched this episode.
And here I am, obsessing about a can of fish. Anyway, I ate them on water crackers with fresh squeezed lemon, fresh cilantro and a squeeze of sriracha. It was great.
Tomorrow I will try them on a toasted bagel with olive oil and capers. Yum.
Cooking with a farm share delivery means that you cook what is in season. Sometimes I feel like if I have to eat one more beet I just might… well use your imagination… Toward the end of the summer we started getting a TON of cucumbers and zucchini. At first, I was so excited to make zucchini bread and cucumber infused gin and tonics. When I’d had my fill of those (didn’t take long), these little guys started to linger in the crisper drawer until they withered and aged and finally made the inevitable journey to veggie heaven, aka the compost bin. This ALWAYS makes me feel guilty- they didn’t even get a chance to be great! Farm shares should not induce guilt.
And so, I dusted off the old imagination and came up with this: Zucchini and Potato Fritters with Greek Yogurt, Smoked Salmon and Fresh Dill (with a side of cucumber salad!) Behold:
Please excuse the terrible quality of this picture- it was taken with my cell phone.
Miraculously I had all of these items in my house.
To make the fritters, simply grate equal measures of potato and zucchini. Squeeze a bit of the moisture out when you finish grating. Add an egg or two and a few tablespoons of flour to bind. Season with sea salt, freshly ground pepper and onion powder. Or if you prefer to grate fresh onion, be my guest. I don’t like to torture myself or cry in my food. Mix all ingredients together. Heat up a few tablespoons of oil ( I like grapeseed) on medium heat in a large frying pan. Form little flat fritters (about 1″ thick) and cook until deep brown on both sides. Then top with a dollop of greek yogurt, sour cream, creme fraiche or whatever you prefer that’s creamy- even a schmear of cream cheese would work. Top with wild-caught smoked salmon and a few sprigs of fresh dill. Dust with a bit more salt and pepper and there you have it. Not bad, huh? The cucumber salad is just sliced cukes with salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil and a few dashes of white wine vinegar. This meal was great for an end of the summer dinner and still delicious for lunch the next day. Plus, no veggies were left to wither and die- my crisper drawer was empty and ready for the next delivery!
This salad is easy, delicious and filling. Often I find that lettuce remains in the crisper drawer in the refrigerator for far to long after my farm share delivery – a sure sign I’m not eating enough salad. When I found out that I was getting radicchio and romaine lettuce in my share, I made it a priority to use it first. This salad is the result. I made it a few weeks ago and forgot to post- so my apologies for not providing exact measurements.
Salad: Top washed and dried radicchio and romaine lettuce with toasted chopped pecans, apple slices, crumbled blue cheese and grilled chicken.
Dressing: Cook 4 slices of bacon in a frying pan. Remove bacon and crumble on top of salad. Deglaze pan with several tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Add freshly ground cracked pepper. Drizzle on top of salad and enjoy!
Ham and cheese… a good old American stand-by kind of a sandwich. Throw a few slices of ham, a bit of cheddar between some plain old sliced bread, perhaps a dab of spicy mustard and you’re set. I used to bring one in a brown paper bag for lunch in grade school several days a week. While out to eat last week, a friend of mine ordered a more elegant version of a ham and cheese sandwich with the delicate and delicious flavors of triple cream brie and fig jam. We liked it so much we decided to recreate it ourselves.
Behold the Fancy Fig Ham & Cheese:
1/3 whole wheat baguette
2 slices prosciutto di parma
2 slices tavern ham
3 slices triple cream brie cheese
1 handful fresh baby arugula
2 tsp. fig spread
Preheat oven to 375. Assemble the sandwich using all of the ingredients minus the arugula. Toast it in the oven until just warmed (you don’t want it to get too hot — it will wilt the arugula). It should take about 5-7 minutes. Put it on a plate and top with arugula. The result is delicious. Thin slices of apple would also work if you don’t have fig jam on hand. Enjoy!